British Land interim results (UK)

Net asset value per share increased 8.6% to 1049 pence* (March 2004: 966 pence*), 20.7% higher than at September 2003. Net assets up £450 million to £5,485 million* (March 2004: £5,035 million). Shareholders’ funds are £5,265 million (March 2004: £4,669 million). Portfolio valuation up £400 million, 3.8%, to £11,065.9 million. Total assets under management now £12.3 billion.

Other highlights:

  • Net rents increased by 5.6% to £265.1 million (2003: £251.0 million).
  • Underlying profit before tax up 15.1% to £74.8 million (2003: £65.0 million), before gains on assets disposals. Profit before tax is £80.1 million after gains on asset disposals of £5.3 million (2003: £86.9 million†; £21.9 million).
  • Total return (adjusted diluted net asset value per share growth plus dividend) for the half year is 9.1%.
  • Interim dividend up 8.4% to 4.8 pence (2003: 4.43 pence) per share, maintaining 23 years of progressive dividend growth.
  • 775,700 sq ft of new lettings in Central London during the year to date, including 465,000 sq ft pre-let signed with leading risk management and insurance intermediaries Willis Group.

John Ritblat, Chairman: “Commercial property is a highly desirable investment class, with enduring defensive qualities against the downside and plenty of upside potential. The long overdue market correction to property yields began in our last financial year and has been transformed through our gearing to deliver, over the last 12 months, an impressive 195 pence per share or 22.4% total return to our shareholders, lifting adjusted diluted net assets from 869 pence to 1049 pence per share.”

Stephen Hester, Chief Executive: “I am very pleased to have been selected by the Board to succeed John Ritblat as Chief Executive of the company. British Land is in great shape, and it is my aim to help the company build on its fine and distinctive record for the future.”

Source: British Land

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